The Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) is in the process of piloting a mentoring program for all faculty ranks and line types, beginning with pre-tenure faculty in the 2019-2020 academic year. This year’s pilot includes an orientation meeting for new pre-tenure faculty, which is organized in the first quarter and attended by the leadership of the school (Faculty Co-Chair, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, and Director of the Doctoral Program). This meeting orients new faculty to these leadership roles, and the major processes of the school related to teaching, service, and scholarship so that new faculty are given clear guidance about expectations as well as where and when to seek support.
All pre-tenure faculty also participate in a one-on-one meeting with the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development in each fall quarter up until tenure. Before attending this meeting, they fill out an individual development plan summary that outline goals for the academic year and anticipated resource needs. They also complete a mentoring map that guides them through the identification of mentors who can support their goals and progress in major areas of emphasis related to promotion and tenure success at GSSW. These tools are used in the meeting to identify needs and plan for the extension of each pre-tenure faculty member’s mentor network to bolster gaps and support stated goals.
Pre-tenure faculty also participate in a quarterly peer support meeting in which 2-3 senior colleagues are invited to participate to provide information about, and discussion around, topics of interest identified by the group (e.g. supervising doctoral students, leveraging the third year review process, etc.) in order to provide information on these topics, expand opportunities for faculty across ranks to build relationships, and for pre-tenure faculty to provide mutual support to their colleagues. The pilot is planned to progress through a staged process, which currently includes the use of design-thinking methods to design complementary, but tailored meetings, peer mentoring opportunities, and tools, to suit the needs of GSSW’s other teaching lines and post-tenure faculty.